Hunters know that the dark hours of any day can be a blessing or a curse to any hunt. Some find that tracking deer or elk in the early morning hours is the best way to ensure success but waking up before the sun rises to get to the best tracking and hunting area can be difficult. Others feel that waiting until just before the sun sets is the optimal time for hunting but if success is achieved, they find themselves needing to dress and haul out a kill in the dark. In either case, a light source is needed for safety and to help ensure they can navigate their way to a successful hunt while the sun is down.
Flashlights work well in the outdoors. A durable flashlight with an intense light beam is a great light source. Many come in easy to pack sizes that can be slipped into a hunting pack or pocket. However, when hunting, having the use of both of your hands to not only shoot your gun or bow, but to also steady you during steep mountain hikes is imperative.
Headlamps are made for precisely such uses. Headlamps are lightweight lamps that are worn around your head, freeing your hands for other purposes. These lights are placed around your head using a secure but flexible strap that holds the light encasement and power source. The small lamps used for this application are typically mounted in such a way as to be easily tilted or directed to just the right height for your needs. The light moves with your head movement, providing good light exactly where you need it most.
Whether you are following a deer trail at dusk or building a campsite for the night, a headlamp makes working in the dark easier without restricting your movements or limiting your ability to defend yourself. Many headlamps also have dimming capabilities that can be easily worked using a simple switch located somewhere on the band. This allows the wearer to control the amount of light they are shining in front of them. This is helpful to hunters who may not want to completely startle potential prey.
The light direction itself makes headlamps better than flashlights. When you hold a flashlight, it is usually at about waist level. This allows you to see the ground and only a few feet in front of you. Holding the light up higher around your shoulder height is doable but can be tiresome and will restrict your reaction time. What you really need to be seeing are the things that you are actually looking at, the things directly in front or around you. With a headlamp attached to your fore head, directly above your eyes, the light is always trained right in the direction you would like to be looking.
The light from a headlamp is also steady. Unlike flashlights, that might slip out of your hand or bob around as you make your way through the brush or forest trees, a headlamp is going to provide you with light that does not waver or stray from where you are headed. You can gaze ahead of you with light that is clear, concise, and solid.
Headlamps are also very durable. Headlamp bands are made to be flexible to fit various sized heads. Headlamps can be worn over your winter cap or hat. The strap is thin, so you can pull headgear or your hood over the top of it without any problems in the winter months. But they are also made for the rugged activities of the outdoors. A good headlamp should have a lamp casing that is well-constructed using strong materials like aluminum and an LED bulb, which are much stronger than incandescent bulbs. While a good flashlight can also be durable, they can also be easily dropped, causing internal malfunctions or shorts. This is less likely with a well-fit headlamp.
Headlamps also save a hunter some significant room in their pack. They are much lighter weight then a regular flashlight and they are smaller devices, which means they won’t be an inconvenience should you need to pack in a lot of gear to your hunting location.
LED headlamps are the best option for hunting enthusiasts. They provide more safety by allowing hands to be free and they provide more versatility than a standard flashlight.